Book Review: ‘Muwatta’ al-Imam Malik: Riwayat al-Shafi’i ‘an Malik’, al-Banjari, Muhammad Lutfi, Karachi: Majlis al-Da’wah wa al-Tahqiq al-Islami, 357 pages
By Maulana Zeeshan Chaudri
The Muwatta’ of Imam Malik (d.179) requires no introduction as 100s of books have been written over the centuries studying various aspects of the goldmine. This collection of Malik demonstrates the juristic acumen and expertise of the mujtahid of Medina. Interest in the book has transcended madhhab affiliations with even one of the famous transmission of the book coming via the student of Imam Abu Hanifah (d.150), Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d.182). Malik’s Muwatta’ had many transmitters and it became a debate amongst later Hadith experts as whose transmission from Malik was the most superior?Read More »
Publishing: December 2016. San Clemente, California: FB Publishing
Format: Paperback, 322 pages
Generally, there are two ways to critically analyse a belief system: one is to tackle standard arguments countering them by engaging in refutations and counter-refutations – what I shall term the polemical method. The other approach is to focus on ‘unmasking’ a belief system which entails deconstructing and analysing the foundations upon which it is built. This method I will term the sociological one. Given my own background as a sociologist, my preference is predictably with the latter – Read More »
Title: Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith
Author: Atabek Shukurov An-Nasafi / Sulaiman Ahmed (translator)
Publisher: Avicenna Academy, UK
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Pages: ix + 311
The book is allegedly an attempt at revival of hanafi methdology in hadith. However, in reality far from representing the hanafi school’s actual approach it is an attempt at putting a ‘scholarly’ garb on compromising hadith as a source of Islamic law and etiquette in view of the pressing polemics and criticism coming from a different world-view.
The following list a selection from notes that were compiled for one of the appendices to the forthcoming (in shā Allāh) translation of Imam ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Dihlawī’s Muqaddamah fī Uṣūl al-Ḥadīth. The list has had to be refined, edited, and truncated for publishing purposes. I thought the rough notes would still benefit certain interested readers, so I have produced a portion of them below. Readers should note that spellings, dates, etc… are being revised and are not yet reflected in this post:
Shāh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Dihlawī represents an important link in a long chain of Ḥanafī hadith scholars, one that begins with Imam Abū Ḥanīfah and his students and continues to this day. The last hundred plus years, however, has born witnes to an unfortunate confusion about the status of the scholars of the Ḥanafī school of law in relation to their knowledge and prowess in the field of hadith and hadith criticism…
Fārūq, Muḥammad, Janāb Gurū Nānak Jī ؒ awr Islām, Maktaba Maḥmūdiyya, UP (1431/2010), 80 pages, paperback.
Review by Shahin-ur Rahman
Concise and easy to read, this succinct treatise on comparative religion offers a profound insight into the life of Gurū Nānak, who is believed to be the founder of the Sikh religion. Targeting the objective Sikh observer, the author presents a well-referenced Urdu biography of Gurū Nānak, proving him to be not only a Muslim, but a knowledgeable Muslim leader.
It should be known that the objective of the book was not to celebrate Gurū Nānak and boast that he adhered to the same religion as the author does. Rather, quite the opposite is true: the author’s intent behind this work was to bring forth anecdotes of Gurū Nānak’s biography, which can assist the objective researcher in identifying the true teachings of Gurū Nānak as he himself taught. This would, in turn, be a means of guiding the Sikh brethren to reconsider their perception of Sikhism, and, thereby, adopt the religion that Gurū Nānak had truly preached. This is evident from the ‘food for thought’ at the end of the booklet, where the author requests the Sikh brethren to read this book side by side with the original sources and compare the two to reach an unbiased conclusion.Read More »
[The Muslim World Book Review, 36:3, 2016, pp. 20–25]
Seyyed Hossein Nasr et al., ed. The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary.New York: Harper Collins, 2015. Hardback. lix + 1988pp. Maps. ISBN: 978–0–06–112586–7.
This book is the magnum opus of Iranian University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University Seyyed Hossein Nasr (b. 1933), an expert on Islamic philosophy and the history of science and the heir apparent of the syncretist Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998) as head of the Maryamiyya Order, a universalist movement based on the so–called Traditionalist School. (“Traditionalism” is a Western adaptation of Hinduism that negates claims of Truth by any religion through relativizing all of them; I will refer to its ideology in this review by the term Perennialism.) It is a well–crafted, mostly North American project that lumps several works in a single hefty volume printed on extra–thin India paper: an original English rendering of the Qur’n; a first–ever, rich anthology in English from 41 works of Quranic commentary with an embedded 42nd, original commentary on the part of Nasr, who terms it “not simply a collage of selections but a new work” (p. xliii); and the mismatched last part, 15 essays on the Qur’n by a mixed group of academics—three of whom are also the book’s general editors— “included… at the suggestion of the publisher… the essays are in a sense a separate book… an independent work” (p. xlv).